My last relationship was fueled by jealousy and blind rage; checking each other's phones and fighting about our findings, angry at social media interactions and flirty onlookers alike. It took me a while to realize that weren't in love, we were in possession of one another, totally and completely.
Someone told me once that if you love a flower, you shouldn't pick it up. Because if you pick it up, it dies and can no longer be the object of your affection, and I think the same applies to relationships.
The pressure of monogamy can bring to light a number of insecurities that may have been previously hidden and cause you to resent the person you once fell so deeply in love with. Yesterday, on the latest episode of Red Table Talk,18-year-old Willow Smith kept it a buck about how she really feels about monogamy, and challenged us to see it differently.
Willow is officially legal, and she's no longer the "Whip My Hair" popstar that we knew in 2010, and she made that abundantly clear when she expressed her views on sexuality.
"I love men and women equally and so I would definitely want one man, one woman. I feel like I could be polyfidelitous with those two people."
Needless to say, both Jada and Adrienne had their pearls clutched, but young Willow was making some pretty solid points. Willow noted that because divorce rates are so high, it suggests that there is something left to be desired when it comes to traditional relationship structures in the modern age. She expressed that polyamory would probably be more common if couples could let go of their own fear of losing ownership their partners:
"This is the scariest thought that people shy away from. It's the feeling of feeling like the person that you love is falling in love with somebody else. And that insecurity and fear just eats us alive."
I've never been good at sharing. I'll be the first one to help you get your own, but what's mine is mine. When you dig deeper into this way of thinking, you have to wonder, does this extend to people too? My ex was MY man and I was HIS girl. We got so wrapped up in this idea that we forgot people are not trophies to be earned, owned, or placed in a cabinet for display, and thinking of them in this way only led to jealousy, insecurity, and ultimately the end of our relationship.
Without trust, honesty, and transparency, no relationship, whether it be a couple, throuple, or quadrouple, will be successful. She explained:
"But that insecurity and fear is something that we need to overcome and something that we need to evolve out of and transmute that into something new and different that can actually be helpful and make us love more and more freely."
According to Willow, societal pressures to be one thing to one person cannot only be detrimental to our self-esteem, but oppressive to who we were made to be as human beings.
"Monogamy, I feel, actually inhibits you from learning those skills of evolving past those feelings of insecurity and jealousy."
I'm not saying just because you're not happy in your relationship, you should go out and open your marriage to other partners, but I do think Willow was wise beyond her years when it comes to making transparency a priority in your relationship.
Part of loving someone means being whole enough to not get intimidated when your waitress giggles a little too hard at his jokes or when he likes a picture on Instagram. And if you're like Willow, who's emotionally secure enough to manage her love for not one but two (or three) people, who's to say you're wrong?
Just because you're married, doesn't mean you suddenly let go of all of the wants, needs, and desires you had before you jumped the broom. It just means that you have to be mature and honest enough to talk about them with your partner.
Watch the full episode below!
Featured image by Instagram/@WillowSmith.